A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain


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When Hank Morgan, a practical, no-nonsense Yankee who works in an ammunition factory as a head superintendent gets into a fight with an aggressive employee, little does he know what's in store for him. The bully lays Morgan low with a skull-crushing blow delivered with a crowbar and knocks him out. When Morgan regains consciousness, he finds himself transported back in time, to the sixth century. From here on, the story describes the travails of a hard-boiled, true blue American with strong democratic values who has to deal with medieval feudalism and ancient customs! A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court was published in 1889. Mark Twain wrote it after the great success of his early novels, Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. His first book, Innocents Abroad had met with a lukewarm reception. Connecticut Yankee... met with mixed reactions. Some regarded it as a great piece of historical fiction. In Britain, it was seen as an attack on their history and culture. Laced with Twain's inimitable brand of irreverent humor, the book portrays the sheer absurdity of romanticizing the past. If people in modern times thought Camelot and the legends of the Knights was the perfect world to live in, Twain wanted to show them otherwise. He also sought to strike a balance between the mindless worship of technology and so called “progress.” Hank Morgan also tries to modernize the past! He tries to educate the medieval people about machines, science and tries to dispel their superstitious beliefs in magic. Many of the famous Knights of the Round Table feature in this book. Other characters like Morgan Le Fay, Merlin, King Arthur and Queen Guinevere also appear, in tandem with many of Twain's own creations. Mark Twain's own disillusionment with industrialization and his exploration of the concept of time travel are described in the book. It was in this sense one of the earliest examples of this genre of science fiction. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's court has been extensively adapted to stage, radio, screen and television. Since the first silent version in 1921, the book has found favor with Hollywood and a variety of stars have played roles in the films. Disney adaptations, various spoofs and spinoffs, animated versions and references in other books have ensured that the book's popularity never wanes. For Mark Twain enthusiasts and readers who love humor blended with some historical fiction, this is indeed a great addition to their collection!

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